2019 in review

generally following james clear’s format but probably with a few twists.

what went well? / where did i succeed?

newsletter. my newsletter brought me a lot of joy and it made a lot of connections across my communities in ways that felt really good. i used it to talk up things me and my friends/collaborators were doing, share what content i’m consuming, and learn out loud. the subscriber number doubled! 83 subscribers on 12/29/18 to 162 on 12/23/19. part of me feels very small sharing that number and the other part of me knows that literally all things start small.

reading and writing. my reading goal for the year was 30 books (because i turned 30 last year) and i read 34. i also got a story, “you embody me” in an anthology: Black Freedom Beyond Borders: Re-imagining Gender in Wakanda.

money. i did some real shifting in my relationship to money (prompted by reading decolonizing wealth). i made about $30k in consulting revenue. that was WAY more than i expected and i feel very excited about that reality. my excitement is mostly in the proof of concept, lane: i can do this if i want to. i also made several no-interest loans to friends and took two no-interest loans from different friends: all of it went well. i am excited about what those experiences are opening up for my in terms of what’s possible. finally, i saved $1000 and went to my first financial coaching session (thanks, nadav!).

spirit. i made some big/deep progress on my spiritual path. i held or co-held circle at least monthly and some months it was more like 3 or 4. a friend and teacher (thx danielle) supported me to go on my first multi-day silent meditation retreat (waking up fabulous()) and it was amazing. i also finished the formation project. i am diving deep into medicine work of many varieties. also, sandra kim’s lunar liberation framework really supported me to make some small, pivotal transformations.

people. my ongoing systems for staying in touch with my zone 1 and 2 friends() were wildly successful. i also had my 30th birthday party at a giant house in upstate ny with 80% of the people closest to me present and it. was. everything. i’m still feeling/seeing the reverberations. i held lots of space for friends and supported a bunch of folks through different types of transformations. i also have dug in deep with babies and kids and am noticing the energetic shift of doing so.

“If your plan is for one year plant rice. If your plan is for ten years plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years educate children.” — Confucius

body. i started running again regularly including solo runs through the arboretum and gym runs with dave madan. i started doing asanas (sun salutations) in the mornings and a tiny bit of qi gong in the evenings. the stretching and attention to my body has almost completely alleviated my plantar fasciitis! i also stepped way up on my rest routine.

where did i fail? / where could things have gone better?

writing. i made very little outward progress on my book. i tried a couple of different times to do work on it (set aside 5 saturday mornings in a row to go to the library and flow on it, scheduling two writing retreats, etc.) and nothing worked. this has given me new resolve to work on it in 2020 and i scheduled some time at a farm in vt (thanks, peter!) to work on it the 2nd week of feb.

heart. there are a few things in my life that i feel some serious shame around and i had hoped to open up about them to folks in my community. i did make some real progress and i am noticing the resistance to taking bigger steps. i’m going easy on myself and still noticing.

money. one of my goals for 2019 was to become a master of my finances. that definitely did not happen. i still avoid lots of my own financial stuff and don’t take the proactive reflective steps i need to in order to make mastery real.

capacity in general. though i improved from previous years, i still moved through 9 or 10 months of the year feeling like i was doing too much. i’m getting better as seasonal management of my capacity and there’s still room to grow.

what did i learn?

nibblings need time. in order to prioritize time with my nibblings, i have to have less on my plate. babies and kids are unpredictable and being able to be summoned to support them (or their parents) requires enough flexibility in my schedule to change my plans and not drop balls.

extending my trips has pros and cons. i love adding on a day or two to the beginning or end of trips. it’s great to have open time to hang with friends and not feel like i need to work full days and fit friends in around the edges. the tradeoff is that means less time back home in boston.

multi-day get-togethers with important folks are necessary. yes, it’s a necessary part of my support structure to talk to my zone 1 and 2 folks regularly. and spend 1-3 days at a time with them is a completely different way to engage with them. there is a non-linearity to time when you know you have a few days together. in the future i want to do one hour bi-weekly phone calls and plan multi-day hangs, too.

i am a circle keeper. holding circles for restorative and transformative work has been part of my life for a long time (like since middle school). i am coming into a new level of that and holding it with lots of reverence and excitement. i look forward to leaning into that more and more in the coming years.

men’s work is hella important. if i think movement eco-systemically, it’s probably the most important work i’m doing these days. i want (need?) to make an increasing amount of time for it. it looks like all sorts of things: being a man who prioritizes time with nibblings, spending concerted effort learning about parenting as someone without his own biokids, holding healing circles, reading, writing, listening. in some ways, none of these should be spectacular (women and NB folks have been doing this for centuries). but in this patriarchal society we live in, i know that doing some/all of these things is an intervention and about that i feel good. i’d feel better if it wasn’t abnormal, but… here we are.

PHEW! ok that’s it. year reviewed (and it only took me til late feb 😅). now to start writing about my 2020 vision and intentions…